Polemicists of various stripes continue to calibrate the effect of technology on attention spans, reports the New York Times. We seem to know a great deal about attention spans, those constituents of character that have become the digital-age equivalent of souls. Everyone has an attention span. It can be short or long. Long is good. Good scholars, good citizens and good children have long attention spans. Attention spans used to be robust; now they are stunted. Technology--MTV, the internet, the iPhone--shriveled them. Nicholas Carr, who argued in “The Shallows” that web use practically causes brain damage, told PBS that technology...

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    staff and wire services reports